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President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters STAT Officer Nominations

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Table of Contents Calendar

President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters STAT Officer Nominations

Calendar...................................................................... 5 President’s Message................................................. 7 Shift Away From Teaching to the Test...................10 CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup.......................................16 Professional Development Matters........................ 20 Affiliate News .......................................................... 28 STAT Contacts .......................................................... 31 Elected Officers Appointed Positions Affiliate Congress Texas State Board of Education

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Calendar

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President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup

2015

February February 1: STAT Membership Drive Begins (Contact stat@statweb.org for your chance to get involved first) February 7: Fort Worth CAST 2015 Meeting (contact stat@statweb.org to attend) February 7: Metroplex miniCAST February 18-20: ISEA Annual Conference (www.texasinformalscience.org) February 21: STAT Executive Committee Meeting

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March March 15: STAT Officer Elections Begin March 18: CAST 2015 Proposals Site Opens

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April April 1: CAST 2015 Housing Open April 15: STAT Awards Open May May 7: CAST Proposal Site Closes

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July July 9-10: Summer Leadership Institute

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Looking Back at 2014

As this year draws to an end

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I have to reminisce about how 2014 has been for me as president elect and now president. It has been an exciting and fun filled learning experience. Last January we held our legislative days in Austin visiting the Capitol with our legislators and representatives. I have learned that they are truly interested in what we have to say, but we as teachers are not an outspoken group. Although we care deeply about our occupation, we do not voice our collective opinion enough in order to cause positive changes. In February I had the opportunity to testify before the State Board of Education. It was a nerve-racking challenge, but after finishing, I feel I represented STAT well and could do it again. It was such a learning experience. I encourage more of our members to get involved in our legislative committee - please contact me at president@statweb.org to join the team. March brought the National Science Teachers Association conference in Boston. I attended sessions, keynote speakers and met with potential exhibitors that had not attended CAST previously. We gained some new exhibitors for our CAST from this visit. I learned firsthand that Texas has an incredible conference comparable only to NSTA. In July we held our second summer leadership in Galveston. This institute included

sessions on science leadership as well as field trips to behind the scenes at Moody Gardens and taking the educational boat out into the bay to learn first-hand about the marine life that inhabits our bays. Also in July I represented you at the NSTA national congress in Washington, D.C., where all states are represented at the national level. We attended sessions and made science resolutions for the New Year at the national level. We began September with our kick-off meeting for CAST 2015 in Ft. Worth. We had a lot of attendees that graciously volunteered their time and expertise to help with planning for our exciting time at CAST 2015. I also attended the El Paso miniCAST in September. Their team did an outstanding job! CAST 2014, what can I say, it was awesome! From the Perot party, sessions, exhibit hall, sessions, the awards ceremony, sessions, “let’s make a deal”, sessions, Emerald City Band, and let’s not forget “sessions”. A great learning experience was had by all, and I can’t wait for next year. Looking to next year I have made some New Years resolutions I hope to fulfill. New Years resolutions: - Speak up for teachers, write or even go and talk with my representative and senator. - Represent you this spring during the legislative session. - Attend NSTA this year in Chicago and recruit more national presenters and exhibitors

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President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters

Looking Back at 2014

for CAST 2015. - Host our summer institute July 9-11. - Attend the NSTA national congress in Omaha Nebraska this summer. - And my biggest resolution is to have one of the best CAST conferences with the most attendees ever, and I can only do that with your help. So, plan right now to attend CAST 2015 in Ft. Worth November 12-14! I have met some wonderful people and learned so much along this path of representing each of you and STAT. I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings. I wish each of you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. Yours, -Melana Silva, Ed.D, STAT President president@statweb.org

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Data Collection Meets Renewable Energy Vernier provides the ideal STEM solution for teaching students about renewable energy.

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Renewable Energy with Vernier Lab Book

KidWind Advanced Wind Experiment Kit Ideal for grades 7–12, this kit allows students to discover advanced wind turbine technology concepts. Students can test different blade designs, gear ratios, generators, and devices to measure electrical and weightlifting power. All they need is their own wind source, basic tools, and imagination! www.vernier.com/kw-awx

This lab book contains a wide range of high school level experiments that address objectives in integrated sciences, physical science, physics, and environmental science. The lab book features 26 experiments in wind and solar energy and contains a combination of explorations, traditional experiments, inquiry investigations, engineering projects, and more. www.vernier.com/rev

Vernier Variable Load

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Vernier Energy Sensor Looking for an easy way for students to quantify voltage, current, power, and energy output? Look no further! When connected to a source and a load, the sensor measures both the potential and current from a renewable energy system. Students can then use data collection and analysis software to calculate the power and energy output. www.vernier.com/ves-bta

The Vernier Variable Load provides a perfect complement to the Vernier Energy Sensor, allowing students to test a range of resistive loads for wind turbine or solar panel projects. Students can adjust the potentiometer to provide resistances between 6 and 255 Ω to determine the optimal load on a system. www.vernier.com/ves-vl

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MEASURE. ANALYZE. LEARN. Vernier Software & Technology | www.vernier.com | 888-VERNIER (888-837-6437)

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Shift Away from Teaching to the Test: A Better Way to Improve Test Scores. Calendar

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By W. R. Klemm Senior Professor of Neuroscience Texas A&M University

Emphasis in teaching these days seems fo-

cused on “teaching to the test.” There used to be much more emphasis on teaching learning-tolearn skills. Paradoxically, if students knew better how to learn, they would surely perform better on tests. I think that individual capacity for learning lies at the heart of educational problems. Two principles in this regard are obvious: 1) not all students have equal learning capacity, and 2) all students, regardless of current capability level, can improve their learning capacity if they are motivated to do so and taught the necessary learning skills. I view the learning process as a cycle of interdependent skills that begin and end with a motivation to learn.

the focus is on memorization skills, which have been neglected and even subjected to dismissive attitudes by some educators. The only use that students can make of what they have been taught is that which they have in memory. Clearly, that applies especially to performance on high-stakes tests.

Remembering Principles

Certain key principles affect the ability to memorize. These include: • Chunking • Intensity of encoding (attentiveness, salience) • Interference from distractions • Associational strategy • Immediate application • Spaced rehearsal • Working memory capacity Much has been learned in the last decade or so from memory research. Unfortunately, few such discoveries do not seem to have trickled down into the classroom. Chunking. In a long teaching period, material at the beginning and at the end is most likely to be remembered. To reduce the loss of information in the middle, shorten the period for that task. In other words, break up learning tasks into small chunks. Intensity of Encoding. You cannot remember what never registered. How well a given learning object is remembered varies with how strongly it is attended and how salient it is both practically and emotionally. Teachers who ask a The five basic skill sets in this cycle are each student, “What did I just say?” are often astonworthy of exploration and development. Here, ished at lack of an answer.

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Interference from Distractions. Students are notoriously distractible. Their minds are abuzz with social considerations, personal problems, and entertainment options. The obsession with multi-tasking exacerbates this problem. Distractibility has a pernicious effect on memory in two ways: 1) Obstruction of encoding if it occurs just before learning (proactive inhibition), or 2) Prevention of consolidation (conversion of temporary memory into longer lasting form) if it occurs soon after initial learning (retroactive inhibition). A major problem most students have in school is a low capacity for attentiveness and the plethora of distractions that occur in school. Associational Strategy. Most students try to memorize by rote. This is not only wastes time, but is also the least effective way to memorize. Students need to be taught how to approach their learning tasks with a special emphasis on making associations that will make memorizing easier and more reliable. We all know that memory works by associating what we know with what we do not know. What is not widely practiced in teaching is showing students how to use mental images or icons to represent the facts or ideas one is trying to associate. Images are much more memorable than words or numbers. Schools rarely teach visual-imaging mnemonics, but I believe this could be the single most effective educational reform. Specific techniques are explained in my books and on-line blog. The idea of using memory principles as image associations and storytelling is beginning to catch on in education. The National Science Foundation sponsored a

successful educational research project aimed at developing ways to use story drawings to facilitate learning. Immediate Application. All teachers understand the value of “hands-on.” What is perhaps less appreciated is the need for immediate application of new learning, which protects the fragile temporary memory of new learning from interferences while strengthening the encoding and expanding the range of mnemonic associations. Spaced Rehearsal. The need to rehearse new learning needs no explanation. What is not considered often enough is the spacing of those rehearsals. A famous German psychologist pioneered this aspect of memory by rote memory of a list of nonsensical words (like XOP, BEN, etc.) and then testing to see how much he could recall at later times.

Clearly, the biggest loss of information occurred in the first 20 minutes, suggesting that when new information is acquired, it needs to be self-tested or used right away.

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This early self-testing should occur not only by forced recall but also by applying the information in some new and relevant way. Classroom instruction should be integrated with “hands-on” and “minds-on” applications. This will reinforce original learning by adding new context and related information. The best way to rehearse original learning is to think about it as it is being memorized and rehearsed. Most memorization tasks require spaced rehearsal in which the initial learning and its applications are repeated several times at close intervals. Working Memory Capacity. Working memory refers to the information one can hold in temporary memory, as when looking up a phone number and trying to remember it long enough to dial the number. Capacity, as in the number of digits one can hold “on-line” so to speak is important because thinking processes involve a sequential operation of what is in working memory. The greater the capacity, the more powerful the thinking. You might wonder what working memory capacity has to do with IQ. The relationship is that we think with what is in working memory. The idea is that snippets of information in working memory on the brain’s virtual scratch pad are moved successively into the brain’s “thinking apparatus.” The more information the snippets hold, the more robust the thinking machine’s output can be. For example, the more math steps you can hold in working memory, the easier it will be to use those steps in solving a problem. As one Special Ed math teacher told me, “My students can do the same math that regular students do if they could just remember the steps.” Work-

ing memory capacity correlates with IQ. The good news is that training working memory capacity raises IQ. A common way to train working memory in adults is called the “n-back” task. Presented with a sequential series of items, the task requires a person to report when the current item is identical to the item that was presented a certain number (n) of items previously in the series. For example, the test taker might see a sequence of letters like L K L R K H H N T T N X presented one at a time. At unpredicted times, the experimenter may stop and ask the subject to say what the immediately preceding letter was, or the letter two steps back, or three. A more challenging modification is to play the game in dual mode (“dual n-back”). In this variation, two independent kinds of items are presented simultaneously such as sound and a number or image. The task is to remember for both items when they were presented as a pair n-steps back in time. This is really hard, but performance improves with practice. Both kinds of training exercises can be found at several mental fitness web sites, including some that are free. Children might even find such games to be fun.

How Typical Tests Mislead Us

High-stakes tests are dominated by multiple-choice questions. Construction of meaningful questions in this format is a major challenge, and many test questions measure only recognition memory. Ask the same question in short-answer or essay form and scores inevitably drop. Recognizing a right or wrong answer is trivial compared with generating the right answer in the absence of guessing odds

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and cues embedded in the list of choices. Educators commonly lament the test performance of their students. The lament should be magnified by realizing that multiple-choice tests over-estimate a child’s learning.

Conclusion

Shift Away From Teaching to the Test CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters

Multiple educational reform efforts in the last 40 years have produced little documentable benefit, primarily I believe because they have not addressed the major problem. That problem is the relatively poor learning competency of students. Students learn better when the teaching emphasis is on how to learn rather than what to learn. Students can only use the information that they remember. Thus, educational reform efforts should include a new emphasis on memorization skills and the plethora of new findings from memory research.

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Klemm, W. R. (2014). Improve Your Memory for a Healthy

Start a STEM Camp Discovery Education STEM Camp, a no-cost series of immersive, hands-on standards-aligned curricula will energize your eager students about STEM. Available to schools, districts, non-profit organizations, and parents, these resources are perfect for summer camps, after-school programs, or wherever STEM support is needed. Contact Brett_Felten@Discovery.com to learn how we can support your STEM Camp.

Brain. Smashwords.com; Klemm, W. R. (2012), Memory Power 101, Skyhorse; and Klemm, W. R. (2010). Better Grades, Less Effort. Smashwords.com. http://thanyoubrain.blogspot.com

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Picturing to Learn. http://www.picturingtolearn.org/. Ac-

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cessed Sept. 22, 2014.

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Kane, M. J., Hambrick, D. Z., and Conway, A. R. A. (2005).

Working memory capacity and fluid intelligence are strongly related constructs: comment on Ackerman, Beier, and Boyle (2005). Psychological Bulletin 131:66–71 Jaeggi, S. M., et al. (2008) Improving fluid intelligence with

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training on working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105:6829-6833. 6

http://brainworkshop.sourceforge.net/, http://www.soaky-

ourhead.com/, or http://cognitivefun.net/test/5

Brett_Felten@Discovery.com | 312-415-3101 DiscoveryEducation.com/STEM © 2014 Discovery Education, Inc.

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by FUTURE-PROOF SOFTWARE & SENSOR TECHNOLOGY FOR SCIENCE

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SPARKvue® is the most advanced science learning software available and it is designed to easily and actively engage students in scientific and engineering practices. SPARKvue provides sensor data collection and visualization – with assessment – in a modern intuitive learning environment. SPARKvue Software Features • Real-time data collection and visualization • Interactive, hands-on lab activities

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• Integrated, customizeable assessment • New bar graph and table displays • Bluetooth wireless support • New video capture

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Note: SPARKvue is available for all platforms including Mac, Windows, iPad® and select Android™ tablets.

NEW for SPARKvue! Real-time sharing and collaboration SPARKvue Chromebook support

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Why ordering from Carolina is such a great experience We’re all ears. And we’re dedicated to understanding your needs, then getting you exactly the right products - exactly when you need them.

The Carolina Experience

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CAST, Cladokits, and a Cup: Reflections on the impact of science teacher professional development on the next generation of science teachers By Andrea S. Foster & Lucas R. Boykin Dallas CAST 2014 will hold a very spe-Sam Houston State University

cial place in my heart for years to come. It was one of the most inspiring conferences I have experienced since last year’s CAST! Let me explain why. I have had the privilege of being a faculty mentor to a burgeoning scientist, Lucas R. Boykin. Lucas is 20 years old and a junior biology/chemistry double major in the Honors College at Sam Houston State University. For the past year, this gregarious young man has been showing up to my science lab every Thursday afternoon without fail enthusiastically sharing his ideas for a taxonomy game he created using cladograms – branching diagrams that display taxonomic relationships. When I asked Lucas how he came up with the idea for his Cladokit, here’s what he shared with me: I came up with the idea of the Cladokit after learning about cladograms in my freshman zoology course. I learned that the concept of cladograms (branching diagrams that display taxonomic relationships) and taxonomy (the study of how closely related species are based on derived characteristics) is integral to higher level biology education. However, I had never heard of cladograms before and I had attended 3 high schools in two different states. I looked into the matter a little bit and found out that the lessons that are learned from cladograms are SUPPOSED to be taught in the Texas school systems. Not only are they meant to be taught but basic components of cladograms are supposed to be taught at even the Kindergarten level. I knew there had to be some way to integrate this lesson into the school systems so I decided to try my luck with a science kit. The kit was meant to engage the students in scientific play and eventually turned more into a game.

Lucas’s passion for comparative biology is contagious. He needed help piloting the game with children and gather some research to help improve the prototype. I arranged for us to visit nearby elementary school to try the Cladokits with 4th graders. I was astonished by the ease at which this young man established a rapport with the children and how truly excited they were to participate in the game. The depth of his content-knowledge about taxonomic relationships coupled with his pedagogical style was exactly what Lee Shulman would describe as the key to effective teaching – pedagogical content knowledge or PCK. Pedagogical content knowledge is a type of knowledge unique to teachers; it concerns the manner in which teachers relate their pedagogical knowledge to their subject matter knowledge in the school context, for the teaching of specific students. I convinced Lucas to pursue his Texas teacher certification and I suggested that he write a proposal and share the game with teachers at CAST. Imagine his excitement when his proposal was accepted – a first time CAST attendee and presenter! The Honors College provided him with some financial support for the conference; but, just like many science teachers, Lucas paid for the trip to Dallas and his materials out of his own pocket. His grandfather drove him to the meeting and attended his session along with my parents, who happened to be at the conference for another reason I will share later. My father,

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a physician, and my mother, a former Kindergarten teacher were highly impressed with Lucas’s presentation. My father loved the taxonomy game because of his background in the biological sciences; but, it was my mother who was much better at solving the cladograms and seeing the relationships between the traits of plants and animals. She also complimented Lucas on his attire—he was wearing dress slacks, dress shirt, and a tie. Very professional. There were only a few elementary teachers in the session because his time slot was right around hotel checkout time; however, the teachers in attendance learned so much about the TEKS for classification and were very interested using the Cladokit with their students. When I asked Lucas, what it was like presenting at CAST for the first time, he said the following: I’ve done state level speeches before. I wasn’t nervous. The game part was fun. It was fun to play the game with higher level (educated) people than the game was intended. People about to graduate with a degree have trouble figuring out simple cladograms. But that’s how they learn. I loved seeing adults get excited about playing the game. So, what’s next for the Cladokit? Lucas plans to keep working on a version that is clear. Working with the teachers at CAST helped him see that some of the traits are not always clear – not all synapomorphies are going to be derived characteristics for cladograms. Once he knows they will work, he plans to create a touchscreen version of the game. He wants the game to be distributable either online or perhaps a company will show an interest in the Cladokit. When I asked Lucas, what his first impressions of CAST were, he mentioned that there were a lot of people in one place and they were

really enthusiastic. He noticed a high energy level right away and said he really enjoyed his field trip. He told me it was fun to see teachers catching up and talking about their classrooms. Seeing teachers in a social context was fascinating to Lucas. He loved the exhibits and noticed that when he walked through them, his focus was on learning the science behind the gadgets… like teaching titrations in chemistry. The teachers’ focus was more on figuring out how to apply the ideas to their students. He said the best part of CAST was being part of the energy. No one there was having a bad time. He was expecting rigid teachers who say here are the TEKS, now teach them. Instead it was more like, “Here are the TEKS that need to be addressed and here’s a cool way to teach them so that children understand science better.” Finally, I asked Lucas if his CAST experience influenced his decision to become a science teacher (to seek certification). He had this to say: I have a new perspective on teaching. I would like to be a science teacher and ultimately work on a doctorate. If you want to teach science, you have to have the necessary background information – content knowledge. I learned that the fundamental ideas that I’m learning in college are supposed to be taught in Kindergarten. Science teachers have to understand the progression of knowledge and how important it is to know that the science journey must begin early. Teachers need to know what the TEKS are about what their students need to know. I am so proud of Lucas presenting at his first CAST. I also encouraged several of my EC-6 and 4-8 science methods students to attend CAST this year. Several attended our astronomy short course on Saturday morning. When they

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returned to class after the break, they shared stories of winning microscopes and millipedes. They even created Animotos and iMovies of their CAST experience. They said when they go back to Fort Worth CAST 2015, they will remember to bring carts for all the swag they received at the exhibits. The experience of CAST as a premiere professional development experience is unmatched by other conferences. I truly believe that the next generation science teacher benefits greatly from participation in CAST. I will always encourage my science teacher candidates to put CAST on their calendars and share their ideas with other teachers. And now for the “cup” part of this story. I received the Skoog Cup award this year at CAST. I am humbled by this honor from the Science Teachers Association and I want to thank Dr. Gerald Skoog of Texas Tech University for whom the award was conceived in 1999, STAT, and the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation Science Education Program, as well as the community of science educators who have mentored me over these 30+ years for this most prestigious award. I bring the Skoog Cup up in this story not to draw attention to me; but, to recognize the power and the impact we have on future science teachers such as Lucas and my methods students. Each of the past recipients of this award have inspired, encouraged and supported my science education career in Texas. And for that I am most grateful. The Skoog Cup reminds me that as science educators it is our responsibility to continue the legacy of promoting quality science education in our state. Science educators must passionately prepare the next generation of science teachers. And CAST is the venue

that makes it all happen. So, thank you Gerald, Bob, Steve, Fred, Violetta, Sandra, Larry, Karen, Susan, Gene, James, Peggy, David, Louis, and Mary K. To Lucas, I hope to see you holding the Skoog Cup someday.

Dr. Andrea S. Foster & curious grandson, Mason Foster at 2014 CAST Reception, Chantilly Ballroom, Anatole Hilton, November 21, 2014

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Professional Development Matters: Reflections on Why Every Science Teacher Should Have the Opportunity to By Dr. Casey Creghan Professor, Sam Houston State University Attend CAST Assistant and Dr. Kathy Adair Creghan Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Humble ISD

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hen I became a science teacher, to say that I was an “ichthyologist out of water” would be an understatement. Back in the day, there were no mandated standards and our campus did not even have a scope and sequence for my science classes. We taught what we wanted to teach, and did so when and how we chose to do so. While that may sound less stressful than today’s over-assessed and monitored classrooms, there was a lack of focus on specific priorities and student achievement. As a young teacher, I was fortunate to have a great team and department to back me up, provide support, and guide me as I negotiated the pitfalls of teaching biology. As I struggled through that first year, our science team was sent to a conference called CAST. I don’t remember too many details about that first conference, but I do remember the time spent collaborating with my team to set up a plan for our department. Without my team, I would have never survived the year. Today I work for a university, teaching instructional methods to preservice teachers, including young science teachers. As I think about my science students, I wonder how they are going to be supported in their professional growth and practice? While larger districts are able to tailor professional development sessions to the specific needs, grade levels, and content areas; smaller districts have very limited options available to support their teachers’ professional growth. One of the most amazing benefits of attending a CAST conference is the variety of experiences that are available to both new and experienced attendees. Teachers can choose from

short session workshops, large scale “Jam Sessions,” in-depth short courses, and even field trips to local science-related events and locations. This year, teachers were treated to an evening at the Ross Perot Museum of Nature and Science held especially for them. And these events don’t include the social events and receptions or the exhibitor booths by the dozens. The awards reception hosted The Emerald City Band who absolutely rocked the place. It was great to see so many science geeks pretend to try to dance! One would be hard-pressed to find any larger forum for the sharing of content ideas, offers of assistance from science-related organizations, instructional strategies, technological innovations, and just cool materials and equipment…all related to the teaching of science! Where else can you find 10 sessions exploring different ways get kids to understand space or lunar concepts or 13 sessions focused just on inquiry? Some of my favorite reflections from this year’s conference are the bits and pieces I picked up from conversations in hallways, the hotel lobby, and in the exhibits area. Here are a few of my favorites from this year’s conference: •Even though dozens and dozens of sessions are offered, there are always a few sessions that are filled beyond capacity. I was introduced to the idea of “Skip One to Get One,” where some highly motivated teachers sat in an empty room for an hour so that they would have a prime seat for the next session being offered at that location. •I witnessed teachers sitting on the floor, sticking their heads inside the doorframe of a session trying to hear the information being shared.

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•One young lady sitting on the floor, outside a session in the hallway, was using Face Time on her phone with a colleague inside the room where the presentation was filled to capacity. This is clear evidence of a desire to learn and grow! •I learned that a $4 hamburger I had on the drive to the conference is just as filling as the $16 hamburger at the hotel. •I learned that science teachers are geeks; who are warm and welcoming and include both young and old in their conversations and their quest for information. •I learned that since budgets have been slashed across the state, science folks will do just about anything to learn about a product that is free for us. •Thousands of teachers attend all three days of the conference, but beyond that, I noticed a large number of teachers who arrived on Saturday. They were there on their own personal time because they could not attend due to other commitments (like teaching). All in all, it was a great conference this year…just as each conference is year after year. As I sat in one of my last sessions, I remembered a story that one of my former teammates had shared with us. It was about a young kindergarten student I think was named Sharon. Sharon was playing in the living room of her house waiting for a home visit from her very first teacher. She was about to enter school for the first time and could not wait to go to “big school.” As she played with her toys on the living room carpet, she looked up at her mom and asked, “Is she here yet?” “No,” came the reply from her mother, “but she will be here before long.” Hesitantly Sharon went back to playing with her toys. In a few minutes she repeated the question, “Is she here yet?” “No, Sharon, but she will be here soon,” came the patient voice from mom.

Finally, Sharon heard a car door slam shut, and she quickly climbed on the back of the couch to gaze out the window. Through the venetian blinds, she peered out to the front of the house. A very “experienced” teacher was slowly making her way up the sidewalk to the house. The teacher had on a well-worn dress, a tattered shawl, and what could only be described as “granny hose.” The girl watched the teacher lift her cane to help navigate the steps. Then Sharon uttered these words, “Mom, isn’t she beautiful?” As I gazed around the sessions and saw all the ages, shapes, and sizes of the attendees at CAST I couldn’t help but think the same thought. “Yes Sharon, they are beautiful; they are science teachers.” I hope that as campus and district administrators search for ways to provide pedagogical and content-based professional development for their science faculty, they discover the array of positive experiences that can come from supporting their teachers in attending CAST. The many available strands make this conference one of the best possible ways to provide professional development for specific science teaching areas. Whether Chemistry, Physics, Biology, elementary, middle school, or whatever content is required, the conference has something of quality to offer. Year after year, hundreds of teachers leave CAST armed with innovative teaching practices, accurate content information, and renewed energy to tackle whatever challenges await them in their classrooms.

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President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters STAT Officer Nominations

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Students, especially girls, start losing interest in STEM subjects as early as second grade.

Let’s bring STEM to every child

STAT Contacts

hand2mind.com/steminaction

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Calendar

President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters STAT Officer Nominations

Affiliate News

STAT Contacts

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hmhco.com • 800.225.5425

New ScienceSaurus® Handbooks: Ideal for any Texas science classroom!

Calendar

Grades K–8 © 2014

SCIENCESAURUS

doing science life science earth science

physical science

Grades K–1

life science earth science

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physical science

science, technology, and engineering

natural resources and the environment

An ideal resource in science class, during lab time, and at home, ScienceSaurus also includes a handy almanac with tables, charts and graphs, test-taking and researching strategies, a science time line and glossary, and more.

An ideal resource in science class, during lab time, and at home, ScienceSaurus also includes a handy almanac with tables, charts and graphs, test-taking and researching skills, science time lines and glossaries, and more. Levels 6-8

Levels 4-5

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science, technology, and engineering

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Levels 2-3 Levels K-1

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ScienceSaurus also includes “how-to” information on doing science research and taking tests, as well as biographies of famous scientists, an illustrated glossary of science terms, and more!

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ScienceSaurus is a source you can use while at school and at home. It also includes information on how to use science tools, a handy almanac with tables, charts and graphs, an illustrated glossary of science terms, and more!

ScienceSaurus® is a user-friendly resource that you can turn to whenever you have any questions related to science. Packed with useful information covering life, physical, earth and space sciences, as well as natural resources and the environment, ScienceSaurus addresses key science topics including:

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ScienceSaurus® is a user-friendly resource that you can turn to whenever you have any questions related to science. Packed with useful information, ScienceSaurus addresses key science topics including:

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ScienceSaurus® is a user-friendly resource. Look inside whenever you have questions about science. Packed with useful information, ScienceSaurus addresses key science and engineering topics including:

ScienceSaurus® is a user-friendly resource. Look inside whenever you have questions about science. Packed with useful information, ScienceSaurus addresses key science and engineering topics including:

Shift Away From Teaching to the Test

NEW EDITION

NEW EDITION

President’s Message

Availa in print ble an online! d

3/4/13 3:17 PM

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CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup

HMHeducation Houghton Mifflin Harcourt™ , HMH® and ScienceSaurus® are a trademarks or registered trademarks of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. © Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved. 05/14 MS106425

Professional Development Matters

Get to know National Geographic Learning

STAT Officer Nominations

• Engaging content from National Geographic • Exceptional Science and Health programs • Effective programs supporting Texas State Standards

Affiliate News

STAT Contacts

Science · Advanced, Honors, and Electives · Career and Technical Education Reading · ESL / ELA · Social Studies · Content Literacy Professional Development partnered with ASCD NGL.Cengage.com 888-915-3276

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Nominations for STAT Officers for 2015-2016 Calendar

President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters STAT Officer Nominations

Affiliate News

STAT Contacts

The STAT Nominating Committee is seeking the help of STAT members and other Texas science educators to identify potential candidates for its slate of officers for 2015 –2016. Offices to be filled in the election are listed below. Each officer serves as a voting member of the STAT Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Serving on the STAT Executive Committee takes commitment and dedication. With over 6,500 members, STAT truly represents all science teachers in the state of Texas, and advocates for its members on the local, state, and national level. We are looking for officers from diverse backgrounds with the strong leadership skills, scientific knowledge and confidence to speak about issues in their area. STAT officers must be willing and able to attend four regularly scheduled board meetings, as well as other meetings as necessary. President-Elect (to serve as President from June 2016–2017 and Past President from June 2017–2018) Assists with conference planning, serves as chief executive officer in the absence of the STAT President. Three year term. Vice President Chairs Membership Committee. One year term. Treasurer Serves as chief financial officer, supervises financial transactions, maintains accurate financial records, and provides monthly financial reports to the STAT Board of Directors. One year term. Secretary Keeps accurate minutes of the STAT Board of Directors and Executive Committee meetings, provides a regular reporting of the minutes to the Board, and writes correspondence as directed by the Board. One year term. Member At Large (3) Performs ad hoc responsibilities at the discretion of the President. Please consider nominating yourself or someone else for one of these offices. Nominations are open to STAT members only. The duties and responsibilities of an officer of STAT require attendance at the annual Conference for the Advancement of Science Teachers (CAST), which is held in the fall, and four (4) STAT Board of Directors meetings throughout the year.

The Nominating Committee must receive the following information: 1. Signed Acceptance Form 2. One letter of support from a STAT member in good standing

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Nominations for STAT Officers for 2014-2015 Calendar

President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test

(cont.)

3. A biographical sketch of approximately 300 words, which may include: Degrees, Summary of professional teaching experience, District, regional, state, and national professional involvement, STAT activities, Special honors or awards, Other professional involvement 4. Position statement: Please describe in 300–500 words a position statement for consideration by the Nominating Committee. If you are nominated, this statement may be printed in the balloting materials. Your statement may include any or all of the following: - your reason(s) for seeking an office in STAT and related qualifications - your goals for STAT in its service to science teachers - your philosophy of science education - your position on one or more science education issues 5. Signed Administrator Sign Off Sheet

CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters STAT Officer Nominations

Affiliate News

STAT Contacts

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Calendar

President’s Message

scienTIst in the classroom, lab and field

Shift Away From Teaching to the Test CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters STAT Officer Nominations

With TI, you can now offer every student a one-to-one learning experience, every day of the year, from middle grades to high school. TI offers free classroom activities for Life, Physical and Earth Sciences as well as Biology, Chemistry and Physics. TI-Nspire™ CX handhelds support nearly 60 Vernier Software & Technology™ sensors for data collection in the field and lab. And the TI-Nspire™ Navigator™ classroom management tools enable formative and summative

Affiliate News

assessment by providing visibility into students’ learning.TI-Nspire™ CX handhelds also are permitted on many college entrance and AP* science exams. Visit education.ti.com/go/sciencensta.

STAT Contacts

*AP is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board which was not involved in the production of and does not endorse this product. Policy subject to change. Visit www.collegeboard.com. ©2014 Texas Instruments AD2697

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Affiliate News Calendar

President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters

TABT The Texas Association of Biology Teachers (TABT) sponsored a trip to Nicaragua in July. Although the group was small, everyone reported having an excellent time. They were able to experience the culture as well as learn much about the nature of the largest Central American country. TABT is sponsoring another trip to Bellavista Cloud Forest and the Galapagos Islands during the summer of 2015. For a brochure and additional information, go to http://www.tabt.us/TABT%20Galapagos7_24_2015.pdf. At CAST, the TABT strand and workshops were very well attended. Teachers reported that the materials provided by Debbie Richards and Jennifer Kaszuba during their workshops was some of the best ever. Everything from books and bur oak acorns to owl bones and pine cones was given away at the TABT booth. More than 100 people joined the organization in Dallas. TABT had its annual business meeting and luncheon on Saturday at CAST. As is the tradition, everyone got a door prize. This year the door prizes were valued from $25 to $500! Sapling Learning was presented with the Friend of TABT Award. Judy Hunt won the Texas Outstanding Biology Teacher Award and Joe Stanaland won the TABT Excellence in Biology Teaching Award. It was announced that in future years this award will be the TABT Alton Biggs Excellence in Biology Teaching Award to honor its founding president. The luncheon speaker was Dr. Larry Lemanski, Distinguished Research Professor from Texas A&M University-Commerce, who described his research into transforming inactive tissue into functioning cardiac tissue in an effort to eventually alleviate some of the effects of heart attacks. Leading up to its thirtieth anniversary, TABT will be making several exciting additions. During the month of December its gifts to active members is to allow them to make free gifts of memberships to their inactive colleagues. Other announcements will come during the year, leading up to next year’s luncheon at CAST in Fort Worth.

STAT Officer Nominations

Affiliate News

STAT Contacts

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Affiliate News Calendar

ISEA

President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters STAT Officer Nominations

Affiliate News

STAT Contacts

ISEA members make a difference at the United Nations

Rebekah K Nix, PhD | The University of Texas at Dallas (rnix@utd.edu)

Dual citizens of land and sea are working together to give a powerful voice to the sea. Your students - and you - can too! It’s really quite simple as we learned at the CAST session ISEA presents Investigating the Oceans. Ghislaine Maxwell explained why making just a few minutes to ‘take the pledge’ on The TerraMar Project website (www.theterramarproject.org) matters so very much to us all – and why the time to do that is NOW. Maxwell has represented the ‘High Seas’ at various Councils around the world and has been instrumental in helping to create an ocean-specific Sustainable Development Goal at the United Nations in 2014. The Oceans made the short list proposed this year, but she needs your help (aka free, online, no-strings-attached pledge of support) to keep them in the running for the final decision in 2015. Offering simple solutions to complex issues, via The TerraMar Project website, your students and you can gain instant citizenship in the world’s first ocean community dedicated to sustainable management of the ocean by (1) taking the ‘I Love the Ocean Pledge’; (2) reading The Daily Catch eNewsletter that summarizes daily ocean news RE politics, science, environment, and adventure; (3) exploring the fully-vetted Education platform where anyone can Friend a Species, Claim an Ocean Parcel, take a Virtual Ocean Dive – (4) and so much more! An avid explorer, marine scientist and passionate educator, Maxwell has spent much of the last decade investigating the problems that plague the seas firsthand and started this work to raise awareness of the least explored, most ignored, very endangered, and largest unregulated part of our planet. The fact of the matter is that Earth ought to have been named Water since the oceans are such an integral and critical and significant factor that links to most every topic imaginable, certainly each of the sciences. What interdisciplinary connections can you add to your teaching to help give the ocean a voice - literally? If you have any ideas or questions, The TerraMar Project team is happy to work with you to integrate their resources into your practice. We owe it to ourselves to slow the damage being done to the oceans so that our students have a chance to make a difference in their own futures by creating innovative solutions to serious problems. It is only through education and increased awareness of these challenges that action can be galvanized to effect change. Please help advance this ‘wave’ throughout science education! TerraMar virtual passport holders collaborating in Dallas at CAST 2014, from the left: Cappy Smith - Community Outdoor Outreach Program Grant Coordinator at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and President of Informal Science Education Association of Texas, Adriana Reza and colleague - Texas State Aquarium, and Ghislaine Maxwell - President and Founder of The TerraMar Project.)

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18th Annual Conference Creating Connections: Building the Future

Calendar

February 18-20, 2015

Keynote Speaker Dr. Gerald Lieberman, PhD

Creating Bridges for Successful Environmental Programs Tomorrow

President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters

Today’s world of growing environmental, scientific, and technical issues make it imperative that science learning is available to all students. Informal science education programs can play a vital role in making science real and meaningful for students and youth. Making connections, meeting “their needs,” and proving success are the keys to successful program design and implementation. Dr. Lieberman will share what he has learned over the last 40 years in the fields of education and environmental work—the challenges, opportunities, and strategies.

Sky Ranch • Van, TX

24657 County Road 448 • http://skyranch.org/texas-retreats/

$125* (includes campus lodging) $100* (no lodging) *Prices for early bird registration before December 15, 2014

“Sky Ranch Van is located in the beautiful piney woods of East Texas. Located outside of Tyler, Sky Ranch is about 90 miles from the Dallas Fort Worth area”

Pre-conference & Post-conference Activities STAT Officer Nominations

Affiliate News

STAT Contacts

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP: SOCIAL MEDIA WITH A PURPOSE Wednesday, February 18 • 1:00pm-5:00pm $20 per person In 2014, social media is no longer the new kid on the block. According to the latest surveys, most people (83% of the population) are online. For many of us, the questions now revolve around the HOW to be online when you have a message to share, or need to engage audiences. This workshop is designed to teach you techniques and ideas on what it means to be online with a purpose – beyond the social aspect. Learn how to think about your online strategies, how to craft more engaging messages and how to create spaces (communities) that you can build for engaging people. We will focus on a few popular spaces (Facebook, Pinterest, etc…) and explore examples of well-designed social media outreach strategies. Informal educators can benefit from learning how their own presence online, as well as dedicated pages/spaces can help build the capacity for informal natural resource education to occur. *Participants will be sent a brief survey prior to the training to assess participant needs and experience to assure a successful workshop. Amy Hays, Emerging Technology Specialist, Texas AgriLife Extension Service Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources/Texas Water Resources Institute

POST-CONFERENCE FIELD TRIP: TEXAS FRESHWATER FISHERIES CENTER in ATHENS, TX Friday, February 20 • 2:00pm-4:00pm $6.00 per person During this behind-the-scenes tour you will view native fish on public display and also visit the fabled Lunker Bunker where the big girl Sharelunkcers (and yes, all 13-pound bass are females—girl power!) are carefully tended, coddled, and hand fed. At this time of year the girls are waiting for the big day when they produce the next generation of trophy bass. If he is in house, you will also meet the biologist in charge of the ShareLunker program and learn more about the science behind the selective breeding program that guides its operation as well as the ground-breaking geneticresearch by TPWD’s geneticist that identified the DNA microsatellites common to big bass.

For more information visit: www.texasinformalscience.org 30


STAT Contacts Calendar

President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test

STAT Office Mailing Address: 5750 Balcones Dr., Ste 201 Austin, TX 78731 Phone: (512) 491-6685 Fax: (512) 873-7423 www.statweb.org stat@statweb.org

CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters STAT Officer Nominations

Appointed Positions

Elected Officers President: Melana Silva (361)-242-7592 president@statweb.org

Past President: Donald Burken (713)-251-2499 pastpresident@statweb.org

President-Elect: Matt Wells (713) 723-0273 presidentelect@statweb.org

Treasurer: Jo Anne Jackson (817) 305-6741 treasurer@statweb.org

Vice President: George Hademenos (469)-593-3097 vicepresident@statweb.org

Secretary: Kara Swindell (806) 766-1744 secretary@statweb.org

Members At Large: Becky Lindsey Laura Lee McLeod Terry White

becky@statweb.org laura@statweb.org terry@statweb.org

Executive Director:

CAST Meeting Planner

(512) 491-6685 stat@statweb.org

(512) 491-6685 registration@statweb.org

Chuck Hempstead

Assistant Executive Director: Affiliate News

Lauren Swetland (512) 491-6685 lauren@statweb.org

CAST Exhibits Manager STAT Contacts

Frank Butcher

(281) 424-1230 frank.butcher@comcast.net

Julie McEntire

TEA Representative: Irene Pickhardt Curriculum Division

(512) 463-9581 irene.pickhardt@tea.state.tx.us

STATellite Submissions: (512) 491-6685 publications@statweb.org

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Affiliate Congress Calendar

President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters STAT Officer Nominations

TSELA

ISEA

Texas Science Education Leadership Association

Associated Chemistry Teachers of Texas

Informal Science Education Association

Kenn Heydrick

Jamie Flint

Jerrell Geisler

kkwwhh@sbcglobal.net

TABT

Texas Association of Biology Teachers Karla Dean

jamie.flint@springbranchisd.com

jerrelgeisler@sbcglobal.net

TAEE

TCES

Texas Association for Environmental Education Lisa Brown

Texas Council of Elementary Science Michael Sweet

kdean@bhisd.net

lob002@shsu.edu

mikeasweet@mac.com

TESTA

TMEA

TSAAPT

Texas Earth Science Teachers Association

Texas Marine Educators Association

Kathryn Barclay

Kris Shipman

kathryn.barclay@fortbend.k12.tx.us

Affiliate News

ACT2

kris.shipman@tpwd.texas.gov

Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers Karen Jo Matsler kjmatsler@gmail.com

STAT Contacts

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Calendar

President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test

Texas State Board of Education SBOE District 1 - Martha M. Dominquez P.O Box 960543 El Paso, Texas 79996 (915) 373-3563

SBOE District 2 - Ruben Cortez, Jr. 735 Habana St. Brownsville, TX 78526 (956) 639-9171

SBOE District 3- Marisa B. Perez

CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters

P.O. Box 276406 San Antonio, TX 78227 (210) 317-4651

SBOE District 4 - Lawrence A. Allen, Jr. 2130 Vermillion Oak St. Fresno, Texas 77545 (713) 203-1355

SBOE District 5- Ken Mercer P.O. Box 781301 San Antonio, TX 78278-1301 (512) 463-9007

SBOE District 6 - Donna Bahorich

STAT Officer Nominations

P.O. Box 79842 Houston, TX 79842 (832) 303-9091

SBOE District 7 - David Bradley 2165 North Street Beaumont, TX 77701 (409) 835-3808

Affiliate News

SBOE District 10 - Tom Maynard

P.O. Box 2885 Georgetown, Texas 78627 (512) 763-2801 (512) 532-9517 fax

SBOE District 11 - Patricia Hardy 900 North Elm Weatherford, TX 76086 (817) 598-2968 (817) 598-2833 fax

SBOE District 12 - Geraldine Miller

1100 Providence Tower West 5001 Spring Valley Road Dallas, Texas 75244 (972) 419-4000 (214) 522-8560 fax

SBOE District 13 - Mavis B. Knight 6108 Red Bird Court Dallas, TX 75232 (214) 333-9575 (214) 339-9242 fax

SBOE District 14 - Sue Melton 101 Brewster Waco, TX 76706 (254) 749-0415

SBOE District 15 - Marty Rowley

P.O. Box 2129 Amarillo, TX 79105 (806) 373-6278 (806) 220-2812 fax

SBOE District 8 - Barbara Cargill 61 W. Wedgemere Circle The Woodlands, TX 77381 (512) 463-9007

SBOE District 9 - Thomas Ratliff

STAT Contacts

Barbara Cargill, Chair Thomas Ratliff, Vice Chair Mavis B. Knight, Secretary

P.O. Box 232 Mount Pleasant, TX 75456 (903) 717-1190

Need to find your state legislators? Search by zip code at:

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us

3333


Calendar

President’s Message Shift Away From Teaching to the Test

Want to be published? Email us your letters and articles! STATellite Due Dates Due dates for publication of articles in The STATellite are: Submission Deadline

CAST, CladoKits, & a Cup Professional Development Matters

August 1 December 1 February 1 May 1

Publication Date August 15 December 15 February 15 May 15

Text files or Microsoft Word documents are preferable, but InDesign files are also acceptable. A minimum of one picture to accompany each article is required.

STAT Officer Nominations

Affiliate News

STAT Contacts

E-mail your submissions to: The STATellite publications@statweb.org The views of the columnists in The STATellite do not necessarily represent the views of STAT or its Board members. Changing your e-mail address? Login to your statweb.org user account and update your information. If you’ve forgotten your password, visit the main page and select “Request New Password” under the User Login section.

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Profile for The STATellite

The STATellite (Winter 2014)  

The STATellite (Winter 2014)  

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